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Coptic Christians in al-Minya are living in a state of grief and panic these days after the appearance of 'Alī Husayn Alī, who declared himself a leader of an organized gang to maintain control over two villages in the Upper Egyptian governorate.
While monks resume their sit-in at the monastery of Abū Fānā, Coptic communities abroad are organizing demonstrations protesting the incidents. The following presents an up-to-date review of the aftermath of the Abū Fānā attacks.
Sa‘īd ‘Abd al-Khāliq writes about the recent incidents that took place at the Abū Fānā Monastery.
The author compares various media treatments of the Abu Fana incidents and other recent issues in Muslim-Christian relations. He asserts that the media treatment of the incidents was insufficient and influenced by the government.
A special committee led by the governor of Minya travels to Abū Fānā in order to draw the borders of the monastery after brutal attacks. The committee departed the area without a conclusion after much debate over conflicting maps. Officials insist the attacks were not a crime but a land dispute and have yet to pursue the culprits.
While the uproar in the wake of the first attack against the Abū Fānā monastery continues, monks were again attacked and stoned by people from the tribal communities. Heated discussions and debates on the issue are still being reported in the media. Muslims accuse the monks of killing a young man and the church has presented a list of six urgent demands to President Husnī Mubārak.
Rajab al-Mūrshidi holds the Supreme Council of Antiquities accountable for the various problems related to monasteries in Egypt.
Yūsuf Wahīb comments on monks and monasteries in Egypt and discusses monks’ important role in the country since Roman times.
Al-Jamā‘ah al-Islamīyah has issued a statement claiming that the Coptic Orthodox Church calls for sectarian tension.
Lutis Kiwān and Sāmī Jād al-Haq report on Pope Shenouda’s visit to Minyā.